During his weekly appearance on The Big Show Monday afternoon, Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork said this year's team has mental toughness that he feels was lacking in previous seasons. New England can secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a victory in Foxboro against Buffalo on Sunday. Last year, the Pats earned the top seed as well, but were upset in the divisional round by the Jets.
"I think we have a different ball club [this season],” Wilfork said. “We can't look at last year or the year before. This ball club that I have now, is a tough football team and we haven't had that in years past. Whatever happens on the field, they will not shell, not panic, lose concentration or focus. I'm excited about this week getting started, and if I'm feeling this way, I'm pretty sure everyone else is because this team is an amazing team when it comes down to character.
“This team went through a lot this year, ups and downs, and no one pointed the figure,” he continued. “We all came in each week and said we have to get better, we have to improve. That's our game plan each week, we have to improve. After this, it's a one-game season. We have to put all of our eggs in one basket.”
Wilfork lauded the resilience and mental toughness put on display against the Dolphins this past weekend, something he said never waned.
“I never thought from the sideline we were going to lose the game [against Miami],” Wilfork said. “I never thought guys gave up. Never once this year have I thought that. This team is a classy team. Being down 17-0, a lot of teams would have packed it in. I looked around and didn't see panic, and didn't see anybody yelling at one another."
Although, later on, Wilfork admitted the team cannot afford to dig itself into holes and, this week against the Bills, must start trusting its preparation as the competition gets harder.
“[We have to] start fast and make plays early,” he said. “[Not] wait until we need a play or until we're down. [Sometimes] we see things but we don't trust. We don't trust our technique, film we watch and our instincts. At some point we have to trust ourselves to make plays. Sometimes you're going to have to take the ball away. Sometimes I feel like we're scared to make a play on the ball. When we do that we'll be happy with the outcome.
“The teams we're going to be playing, starting this week against Buffalo, are not slouches,” Wilfork said. “Buffalo has beaten us already this year and [after that] the teams that we're going to be playing are in the playoffs for a reason. We have to match the intensity starting this week. We can't wait until the postseason, it doesn't work that way.”
The three-time Pro Bowler said the Patriots have yet to play a “complete” game. “Not once have we played 60 minutes of complete football,” he said. “I want to see how that looks, to play a complete 60 minutes as the New England Patriots. We have yet to do it. We've played three quarters and 55 minutes, but we haven't played 60 minutes. It's a great time to start this week.”
Wilfork echoed Tom Brady's claim Monday morning on Dennis & Callahan that team improvement and performance are more important than seeding. “[A bye week is] not important,” Wilfork said. “A week off didn't do us justice [last season]. I don't care, I just want to be able to get better as a football team.”
For more Patriots news, go to the team page at weei.com/patriots.
-- RYAN HADFIELD
We had an impromptu visit from Peter King from SI / MMQB to our Fenway Studios and decided to talk some NFL and Patriots with him.
Pete talks with The Senator, Phil Perry about the Patriots trading for Dwayne Allen, ruling out a return to New England for Martellus Bennett. They also talk about the potential future of Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo and some of the big names in NFL free agency
Pete, Thornton and Price give their final thoughts and predictions for the Super Bowl.
Dale, Holley and Rich Keefe discuss NBA lottery pick Lonzo Ball with his very outspoken father Lavar Ball. The guys touch on the Celtics, his feud with his sons' high school coach, Lonzo being better than Steph Curry and much more.
Kirk, Gerry, and Alex Reimer discuss whether or not Isaiah Thomas will win a title in Boston.
Gerry, Kirk, and Trenni react to the Celtics loss against the Suns.
Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe catch-up with former Sox GM Theo Epstein who is in town with the World Champion Cubs to take on the Sox this weekend.
We sit down with the manager of the Sox, John Farrell, for our weekly interview.
Rob Bradford is joined by Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Craig Breslow, who is one of the foremost authorities among professional athletes when it comes to understanding how charities work. Not only does Breslow head up his own charity, the Strike 3 Foundation, but also proactively has taken the Boston Globe to task via a letter to the editor after a 2013 article criticizing the allocation of funds for high-profile athlete's charities. Breslow digs into the recent controversy surrounding Tom Brady's affiliation with Best Buddies, explaining why the recent Globe article was misguided.
Gerry and Kirk read some inspiring quotes from Tony Robbins and Curtis is all set to see the man himself in June.
Tony Robbins fans were sent to the hospital after getting injured walking over coals and Pat is a massive fan of Tony Robbins.
Gerry, Kirk and Arcand react to Brady getting into a business relationship with Tony Robbins.
Night 1 of the draft has passed and Jimmy Garoppolo is still here. The general consensus on the Bears was that they screwed up their draft. And Larry Bird is out in Indiana. Is there hope for Ordway's Paul George dream?
The offensive issues for this Red Sox team are becoming more and more obvious. We also react to our interview with Pedro Martinez.
Chris Sale basically took on Tanaka and the Yankees by himself last night. And the Sox hot corner of days past seem to be gone as far as third base goes.
Final two hours of Dale and Holley with Keefe for a Friday.
Dale, Holley and Keefe discuss a variety of topics for the first two hours of Freestyle Friday.
We close out the week with another edition of the madness and LAROY!!!!!!!!!!! takes you into the weekend.
Kirk Minihane, Springsteen super fan, is joined by Garry W. Tallent, founding member of the E Street Band. Kirk and Garry talk about what it's like on tour with Bruce, how the band goes about selecting songs for the tour, Garry's projects away from the band, and Garry's upcoming solo tour that will bring him to the New England area.
Kirk Minihane, future radio hall of famer, sits down with current radio hall of famer Howie Carr. Kirk and Howie talk about Howie's latest book Kennedy Babylon. If you like famous people engaging in sex scandals, hard drug taking, and murder this is the podcast for you. Its a fascinating look at Boston's most famous family and the problems that took the family down.
Kirk Minihane, host and overlord of the morning show, brings Gerry Callahan and producers Chris and Ken into the studio to hear his show proposal. Kirk is thinking about making some changes to the morning show and wants to hear his crew's opinion.
Ben and Alex talk to Charlie Stillitano, the man responsible for the International Champions Cup. He has created tournaments for the biggest teams in the world to be played in the US every summer. This year he will bring Juventus and Roma to play in Foxboro on July 30th.
Ken and Chris have the Good Weekend recap of a Friday Christian Arcand edition of K&C.
It’s Day 1 of the NFL Draft tonight so Jim Hackett & Pete Davidson offer a little pre-draft fodder for you featuring the Top Tight Ends and Top Wide Receivers. It’s Day 1 of the draft so there’s a lot of focus on the Top Tier talent who you could see drafted tonight including analysis on OJ Howard, Evan Engram & David Njoku; all Tight Ends that could be drafted in tonight’s 1st Round – a rarity. The analysis deepens with more focus on the Top 10 Tight Ends including Jake Butt, Bucky Hodges and Jordan Leggett. Then the boys turn to the Top Wide Receivers, including John Ross, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and JuJu Smith-Shuster. We’ll see where these guys land tonight, but you can learn more and have a few laughs right now.
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